INTRODUCTION FOR NEXT MEETING TOPIC:
Set Aside Time to THINK! By Jennifer Myers, MBA, CBC
In this fortnight’s instalment for the strategy Pillar, our author dives into the 10 (YEP!) ways we can invest in THINKING TIME to positively impact our businesses.
From ‘big picture’ to ‘creative’ to ‘bottom line’, when we set aside regular time to consider HOW we do things, WHO we serve and WHY we’re special (among other things), we set ourselves up for true success and longevity.
Read the article and consider speaking to one of the 10 points in your 60-second introduction.
Set Aside Time to THINK! By Jennifer Myers, MBA, CBC
In my work as a business coach over the past decade, I have witnessed so many clients’ businesses moving forward by leaps and bounds when they begin to set aside a specific time each week to work ON their business. By working ‘ON’, I mean THINKING about your business. Not worrying about things or over-focusing on what didn’t get done today. I mean investing time to think critically about HOW you do things, WHO you serve, WHY you’re special! Thinking literally increases your value to your business and your team (if you have one). In this article, I’ll share 10 different types of thinking that we can employ when it comes to working ON our businesses – betcha’ didn’t know there were 10 different types of thinking, eh?
- Big Picture – ‘Big picture’ thinking is stepping away from the day-to-day and considering your longer-term goals and objectives. Re-visit your vision for your business. Set those annual goals and review your progress against them.
- Focused – When we set aside a distraction-free zone for ourselves, we’re helping our brains to focus on a specific task or problem. This is problem-solving time. Focused thinking can help you weigh up options and opportunities and then make the appropriate decision.
- Creative – Creative thinking involves, for example, looking at HOW you do something and considering how you can do that thing just 1% better. Creative thinking will help you come up with new and interesting topics for your fortnightly newsletter or your daily social media post.
- Realistic – Realistic thinking comes into play when we need to weigh up the IMPACT of taking a certain action. For example, ‘If I make a change to how I communicate with my clients, how will that impact on their experience?’ or ‘If I change up this piece of software, what impacts will it have in other areas of my business?’
- Possibility – Possibility thinking is ‘no-limits’ thinking! If money and time were of no consequence, what would you do in your business? What could you do if you were fearless?
- Strategic – I like to think of ‘strategic’ thinking as ‘lateral’ thinking. Making connections where connections aren’t immediately obvious. Strategic thinking comes into play when we begin to think about scaling our business, for instance. It also helps when we consider who else we need in our inner circle to help take us farther, faster in our business.
- Reflective – This is the type of thinking that allows us the time and space to ask ourselves ‘What went well this quarter? What didn’t go so well? And What can I LEARN from that?’
- Questioning – When we question the status quo, that’s a wonderful thing, because we shift ourselves our of our comfort zone. Asking ourselves WHY we do a certain thing a certain way is key for helping us try new things and dump things that aren’t working.
- Shared – Shared thinking is the ‘mastermind’ or ‘inner circle’ concept. When we have a small group of people we can bring problems and unique challenges to and discuss possible solutions, we expand our thinking!
- Bottom-Line – This type of thinking is all about how taking a certain action will impact your business’ profitability! Because let’s face it, if we aren’t profitable, we won’t be around very long! Ensure you weigh up your return on investment for each purchase, each hire or each CHANGE in your business before you jump in.
If you’d like to know more about Jennifer, check out her LinkedIn profile here OR visit her website here.
Next Meeting Topic
This fortnight’s article is all about asking us to take a step back and reflect on our views on inclusion – namely of making it easier to employ and create an accessible environment for people with disabilities or access needs.
As part of your 60-second introduction, consider weighing in on this topic by sharing businesses YOU know who employ workers with access needs AND what YOU can do in your business to make it easier for your clients who may have access needs to engage with your business.
What is YOUR Strategy Around Inclusion? Simple steps to help change the conversation around disability in the workplace By Genevieve McLachlan
There are simple but highly impactful changes that any employer can make to help change the conversation around disability in the workplace; and there are many potential benefits of this for both employers and people with access needs.
Like me, one in four New Zealanders have access needs (disabilities). While I grew up with Cerebral Palsy and a vision impairment, I live a full life and run a successful business that supports people, including myself, through assistive technology. Through my work supporting others in the workplace I’ve recognised some opportunities that could help to open doors for employers and potential employees – particularly important given that 24% of New Zealanders with access needs have the potential to meaningfully contribute to our economy.
While in the past 10 years I’ve seen some excellent changes, including an increase in people with access needs contributing to society through assistive technology, increased employment opportunities and more awareness of accessibility in general, the conversation must continue. In fact, now is the time to prioritise that conversation, given the changes in how we work following Covid-19.
While we cannot underestimate the challenges in shifting organisational culture, I firmly believe the starting point is a change of perspective.
It can be as simple as how a role is advertised. Including information around how your organisation welcomes people with access needs, is a great first step. Promoting flexible working – or even being open to job-sharing – widens an employer’s applicant pool and appeals to people with differing needs. Another is ensuring that as an employer, you’re equitable from the outset. This means providing alternate ways for people to apply for roles. For a person who may find technology challenging, think about offering a phone number and a way to apply for a role over a conversation, as opposed to traditional written or online options.
The second step is changing the lens through which an applicant with access needs is considered. I implore any employer to look at a person for their merits. Try not to make assumptions and look beyond their disability. For example, the fact that I can’t drive doesn’t limit my professional expertise, though this may take some accommodating on behalf of an employer through flexible working options.
Crucial too is the role of leadership in changing the conversation around disability in the workplace. There needs to be true leadership support and strong endorsement for better enabling people with access needs in the workplace. Nor should the conversation stop there – how many leadership roles do you see that are occupied by people with access needs?
So where to from here? In the next five years, I would like to see a reduction in the unemployment rate of people with access needs, and I’d like to see standard technology that is functional and accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.
I too play a part in helping shape that future. My goal is to establish a subscription-based service that better supports people with access needs and employers to use technology so that accessibility becomes the norm, not an afterthought.
The author had recently delivered a TEDx talk where she shared her personal story of possibility! Check it out here: https://tedxpipitea.com/speaker/genevieve-mclachlan
Genevieve has won numerous business awards and in 2016 she was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to People with Disabilities.
Read more about Genevieve’s business here: https://www.adaptivetech.co.nz
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